2 September 2024

Disaster Risk Management: From Theory to Practice

Get an understanding of the concepts, dynamics and theoretical frameworks of vulnerability, climate change adaptation and disasters in a global perspective.

The course covers factors such as globalisation’s impact on vulnerability; socio-economic and political dimensions; and health aspects at the local level.

You will get an outline of historical perspectives of disaster risk management, the changing nature of humanitarian crises and disasters in fragile contexts. Vulnerability reduction and resilience building, climate change and forced migration are also included.










  • Disaster risk as an interaction of exposure and vulnerability rather than the hazard per se
  • Climate change adaptation and its impact on natural resources and livelihoods
  • Key concepts, frameworks and debates in the developing field of disaster risk management and climate change adaptation
  • Overview of the global landscape of actors and institutions within disaster risk management and climate change adaptation
  • The disaster-development-climate nexus
  • The role of health and health challenges in disaster risk management and climate change
  • The complex interaction between disaster preparedness, response and recovery, prevention








There will be a variety of learning methods on the module ranging from lectures, to video screenings and student led presentations.
The learning methods are as follows:

  • Lectures - Imparting knowledge, concepts, theories and models.
  • Exercises – Inquiry or skills based with emphasis on analytical skills and problem solving.
  • Videos – Guided with a set of questions or an exercise that follows.
  • Seminars – Self-directed by students and guided and mentored by tutors.
  • Presentations – of group assignments and feedback by a panel of tutors.
  • Paper – To develop academic writing skills and assessed by course leader.














During this course, you will learn the concepts and theoretical underpinnings of disaster risk reduction and disaster risk management practices. You will have gained insight into the complex connections and interactions between hazards and vulnerabilities and how risk is contextually configured. You will also be able to demonstrate knowledge of methods and tools for identification and analysis of hazards and vulnerabilities. 

On completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the nature, typology and dynamics of disaster risk management.
  • Understand the complex connections and interactions between hazards, vulnerabilities and exposure.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between health, vulnerability and disaster.
  • Apply methods and tools for risk analysis and risk evaluation, including methods for identification and analysis of hazards and vulnerabilities.
  • Apply and connect key concepts as a lens to analyse disaster risk.
  • Critically evaluate the strengths and limitations of policies and practices in the field of disaster risk management.
  • Identify and formulate a relevant and current research question and develop a vulnerability profile for a case study assignment.

See all learning outcomes in the course curriculum.

























Anne Bach Nielsen, Postdoc, Global Health Section, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen.
















Course details

Duration: 4 weeks
Dates: 2-20 September 2024
Frequency: Once every year
Place: University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Course fee: EU/EEA citizens
Master student: 16,500 DKK 
Single course student: 25,000 DKK

Non-EU/EEA citizens
Master student: 22,000 DKK
Single course student: 33,000 DKK

Terms and conditions
Level and credit: Master's course; 7.5 ECTS
Examination date: See exam dates
Application deadline: 8 July 2024
Admission: To be admitted, you must meet the admission criteria for Master of Disaster Management

Download course curriculum